Rural Villages Resurgence in the North Cotswolds Post-Lockdown

The property market has seen a significant rise in interest in recent weeks, with a surge in enquiries for homes in rural villages as lockdown has prompted buyers to reassess their lifestyles. Demand is particularly strong for properties in appealing village locations with good local amenities and a strong sense of community, highlighting the things that people have placed greater value on during the pandemic. According to new research from Savills, almost 40% of people said that living in a village is more attractive now than before Covid-19. In the Warwickshire village of Brailes, Spitfire Bespoke Homes has recently launched Prestwold, a collection of seven premium detached homes that are a prime example of the type of property most in demand.

What has been particularly noticeable is an increase in house-hunters seeking to move out of cities and towns. With many people still working from home due to current circumstances and becoming less reliant on commuter links to cities, living in the countryside has become a more viable option and buyers are looking further out to more rural areas such as the northern edges of the Cotswolds. Situated within the rolling Warwickshire hills, surrounded by beautiful countryside, Brailes is a quintessential English village which offers a very active community, two pubs and a good primary school, providing all of the vital ingredients for vibrant village life, resulting in the recent spike in enquiries that Spitfire has received for Prestwold.

Sarah-Jane Hart from Peter Clarke, the estate agent working with Spitfire Bespoke Homes, comments: “In recent months, people’s requirements have changed – those who have worked from home throughout lockdown have realised it works. Many will choose to go into the office much less often in the future, meaning they can move out of urban areas to somewhere that they can enjoy more space and a better work life balance. At Prestwold we have had recent enquiries from buyers from London, Birmingham and Coventry – lockdown has been something of a wake-up call. Also current circumstances have inspired countless examples of community spirit and neighbours looking out for each other, which is a big part of the appeal of village life. The homes at Prestwold tick all of the boxes for purchasers that want a friendly village lifestyle, great access to the countryside and easy access to Stratford-upon-Avon, Banbury and the M40.

Set against the backdrop of the rolling Warwickshire hills and fields, Prestwold is a boutique collection of detached properties including four and five-bedroom houses and a three-bedroom bungalow. It is accessed via a private driveway within easy walking distance of Brailes’ amenities including its active village hall – situated opposite Prestwold – which plays host to a wide range of clubs, groups and events. Also close to the village is a golf course, as well as a wide network of footpaths and bridleways for walks and horse-riding, on the edge of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mark Swaddle, Marketing Manager at Spitfire Bespoke Homes comments: “During lockdown we have all been spending much more time at home, which has helped people see what they really prioritise and want out of their living environment. For many people that is more space or more scenic surroundings – somewhere they can enjoy their ‘new normal’ lifestyle. The homes at Prestwold are each individual in design but all offer flexible, high quality living space that would suit families, couples or downsizers looking to make their aspirations of country living a reality.”

The residences at Prestwold combine traditionally inspired architecture with spacious contemporary interiors that are light-filled and airy. The centrepiece of each home is a large, flexible eat-in kitchen and family area with bifold doors to the garden. Individually designed kitchens, bespoke to Spitfire, feature quartz worktops and premium integrated appliances. Other highlights of Spitfire’s Signature Specification include underfloor heating, bespoke fitted wardrobes, natural oak internal doors and electric car charging points in the garages.

Just four miles away, the small market town of Shipston-on-Stour is a thriving and welcoming place to shop with a mix of independent shops, lively pubs and cafes. Banbury, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon are both easily accessible offering an extensive range of high street shops, supermarkets and other attractions. For commuters that still need to travel into London from time to time, Banbury station 11 miles away is easily reached, where services into London take around an hour. Convenient links with the M40 and A44 also make it easy to travel by road.